Oct 23, 2009

Friday October 23, 2009 Merle Baker

Theme: IXNAY (60A. Slangy turndown, and a hint to how 17-, 22-, 32-, 47- and 51-Across are formed) - IX is nixed from familiar phrases.

17A. Health nut?: MISTER F(IX)IT

22A. "Make him an offer he can't refuse," e.g.?: DON QU(IX)OTE. The memorable line is a quote from Don Corleone ("The Godfather").

32A. Where hogs go hog-wild?: SWINGING S(IX)TIES. Hilarious clue/answer.

47A. DVDs?: N(IX)ON-TAPES. Not a smooth fill for me.

51A. Cocktails at an exotic resort club?: M(IX)ED DRINKS. Was ignorant of Club Med (Méditerranée), so I had trouble understanding the connection between MED & "exotic resort club".

This puzzle reminds of Gareth Bain's NIXON puzzle, where ON is nixed in every theme entry. And NIXON is placed in the lower right corner as well.

Nice pangram (all 26 letters are used at least once). But the theme took me too long to grok, though I got IXNAY rather early. Several peeks at the cheat sheet today.


1. Angle: SLANT

6. Like disco dancers: GO-GO. Go-go dancers.

10. "Wow": GEE

13. Explorer __ de León: PONCE. He named Florida Florida, meaning "flower".

14. Structural sci.: ANAT. Body structure.

15. Nightclub in a Manilow song: COPA. Copacabana (At the Copa), referring to the famous nightclub Copacabana (The Copa) in NY City.

16. Atlanta university: EMORY. And GONZAGA (41A). Spokane university). The latter stumped me. Wikipedia says it's a private Catholic Jesuit university and listed Bing Crosby as one of its notable alumni.

19. Prefix with dermal: EPI. Epidermal.

20. PC support person: TECH. See techie in grid more often.

21. Village paper?: VOICE. Village Voice, the free weekly newspaper in NY. They give out the annual Obie Award. Nice clue.

25. Toy in a holster: CAP GUN

26. Eightfold: OCTUPLE. Adjective. Noun is octuplet, like the Octuplet Mom.

28. Arg. neighbor: URU (Uruguay). Can't be Bra(zil), Par(aguay) or Chi(le) because the constructors/editor prefer a full word rather than an abbreviated country name.

29. IM provider: AOL

30. Arles assent: OUI. Alliteration. Arles is where van Gogh painted many of his masterpieces.

31. Get ready, briefly: PREP

36. Satirist Mort: SAHL. Thank God I committed him to my memory.

37. Blood classification letters: ABO. O for me.

38. "__ who?": SEZ. With P?Z?? in place, I should have got PIZZA (31D. Food in a flat box) immediately.

40. Source of 20s, for short: ATM. And NCR (4D. Big name in 40-Acrosses).

45. Comfort for a griever: SOLACE

50. Tolkien tree creature: ENT. Anglo-Saxon word for "giant".

53. Bugs chaser: ELMER. Elmer Fudd.

56. Lighten up?: DIET. Nailed it immediately.

57. Stiller's comedy partner: MEARA. Jerry Stiller and Anna Meara, Ben Stiller's parents.

58. Form 1040 ID: SSN

59. Lhasa __: APSO. The breed originating from Tibet. APSO is literally "bearded" in Tibetan.


1. Swimwear brand: SPEEDO. They sponsor Michael Phelps.

2. California city near Vandenberg Air Force Base: LOMPOC. See this map. Literally "little lake" in its Native Indian language. I simply forgot.

3. Consecrate using oil: ANOINT

5. Mystery writer Josephine: TEY. No idea. The only Josephine I know is Hart, whose "Damage" is just brilliant.

6. Reproductive cell: GAMETE. Sperm or egg.

7. In the cooler: ON ICE

8. Deep wound: GASH

9. Polo Grounds hero: OTT (Mel). NY Giants played in the Polo Grounds.

10. "I don't get it": GO FIGURE

11. Gastronomes: EPICURES (EP-i-kyoors). And SAVORERS (32D: 11-Down, e.g.). Both posed problems to me, though I remember we had epicure/epicurious discussions on the blog before. Savorer sounds so made-up.

12. Gone from the plate: EATEN UP. I liked how it parallels EPICURES.

15. Photoshop command: CROP

18. Author Hunter: EVAN. Also known as Ed McBain.

20. Turnpike collection spot: TOLLGATE

23. Small game bird: QUAIL. Cantonese style quail is often glazed with honey, very tasty, crispy too.

24. Resting atop: UPON

25. Two-wheeled artillery wagons: CAISSONS (KEY-suhn). Only know the military funeral caisson.

27. "A __ of Wine, a Loaf of Bread ...": JUG. And Thou (Beside me singing in the Wilderness).

30. Notable 1969 bride: ONO. Liked this new clue.

33. Battered repeatedly, in slang: WHALED ON. New phrase to me.

34. ThinkPad maker: IBM

41. Attends: GOES TO

43. Biological divisions: GENERA. Wow, I had no idea that plural of genus is genera.

44. Down a sinful path: ASTRAY

52. Pocatello's state: Abbr.: IDA. Have never heard of the city Pocatello, home of the Idaho State University. Named after some Indian tribal chief Pocatello.

53. Brit. record label: EMI. One of the four major record labels: Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI.

54. Latin law: LEX. Learned from doing Xword. The plural is leges (LEE-jeez).

Answer grid.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - really enjoyed this puzzle. I needed lots of perp help, and thought it was a really great theme; I didn't have the vaguest idea what it was until I got 'ixnay' at the end. Nice pangram too.

Is 'Ida' still used as an abbreviation for Idaho? There are other clues that would've worked, such as 'actress Lupino'. Needed the perps for Josephine Tey, and I knew of Gonzaga, but had no idea it was in Spokane. Favorite clue was 'Lighten up'.

Today is National Mole Day.

Today's Words of Wisdom: "It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the machinery, but the friction." -- Henry Ward Beecher

Given the spate of medical issues here, a few words about doctors:

- "Doctors are just the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob and kill you, too." -- Anton Chekhov

- "The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." -- Voltaire

Mainiac said...

Good Morning All,

Took the time to do a Friday puzzle because I woke earlier than normal. Not doing one for a few days is much like missing my work outs. Feels like I'm starting over. I did enjoy this one. I never got the theme which caused problems along with Epicures and Savorers. Needed red letters to finish.

I had a driver wreck a truck this week so I'm buried in paperwork and have to deal with other disciplinary issues. Plus we've got a road torn up and need to put the gravel to it before it pours tomorrow. Perfect day to sit on a bulldozer pushing dirt with my ipod on!

Have a good one!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and Friends.

Well, we've hit a challenging Friday puzzle (at least is was a challenge for me.) Some good clues, though. I eventually got the theme, realizing that the long clues had an IX missing. For the life of me, however, I couldn't figure out where to insert the missing IX in SWINGING S(IX)TIES or N(IX)ON TAPES until I read CC's explanation.

Some new place names for me: GONZAGA, LOMPCO and POCATELLO.

My first thought for Food in a Flat Box (31D) was MATZO. Since the Z crossed with Gonzaga, I thought that was correct. D'Oh!

My other D'Oh was Source of 20s: ATM (40A). We've seen ATM enough so that I should have thought of it immediately. I think that Big Name in 40A (NCR) threw me off.

Favorite clue: Bugs Chaser (53A): ELMER.

In memory of Soupy Sales, who died yesterday ... QOD: Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you. ~ Soupy Sales

Martin said...

I had *IET for 56A and thought "Aha! DIET!" but then I looked at the clue "Lighten up?" and I couldn't make sense of it. Maybe if I knew who Pocatello was.

I tried DEVORERS for SAVORERS. I thought DEVORERS might be an alternative spelling of devourers.
Anyway, that's why I couldn't get SWINGING STIES.

A lot of words just couldn't come to me.


Lemonade714 said...

Nothing is simple in life, as this was a more challenging puzzle, with some fun clues, most of which have already been mentioned by the early posters, and a very interesting and well disguised theme. But we also see a number of crossword staples such as: Satirist Mort: SAHL, Polo Grounds hero: OTT, and Josephine: TEY who wrote an interesting book about the mystery of whether King Richard III of England murdered his nephews called The Daughter of Time which was used as a sub-plot in one of Martha Grimes’ Richard Jury mysteries. While our group has given mixed reviews of her recent novel, I do feel at home in the Jack and Hammer, and was pleased to receive an email to confirm the next book will be published in March.

GONZAGA is a small college that has a recent tradition of great basketball teams.

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Once I figured out what the theme meant, I enjoyed the puzzle quite a lot. Before that point, I was a bit confused, since each of the theme answers actually made sense as stand alone phrases, but they seemed awfully random and ugly.

Ugly word of the day definitely goes to SAVORERS. As C. C. points out, it seems totally made up -- the type of word constructors use when they get themselves into a jam and don't want to rewrite an entire section of a puzzle.

And the WTF award most assuredly goes to GONZAGA. I'm sure it's a famous university that lots of famous people have gone to, but I've never heard of it before. Not only that, but it doesn't even look like a real word (or, at least, not a noun and certainly not the name of a university). If anything, it looks like a portmanteau combination of gonzo and gaga. As in, "He went totally GONZAGA over that blonde in the bikini."

Al said...

Seems like Rich didn't wait to ramp things up... Nice challenge today (last night). Agree with C.C. about savorers. While it may be a legit word, it is certainly one I would never use outside a crossword puzzle. Firefox doesn't recognize it in spell checking by default, either.

I suspected the theme was taking out IX, or at least Roman Numerals or something, but the only one that I saw without really trying after I was done was Quixote. It was really no help in solving, but fun to figure out afterwards.

I had always spelled it Wailed On, not Whaled, but both seem to be used and mean the same thing, at least according to the Urban Dictionary.

Gazonga sounds like it should be, well, something anatomical. "Did you see those gazongas?" I bet that I won't need to translate...

Dennis, really liked your doctor quotes today.

tfrank said...

Good Morning, C.C. and all,

Today was a first for me; woke up at four, couldn't get back to sleep; solved the puzzle but could not grok the theme, came here to be enlightened, and lo and behold; yesterday's blog was still up. This was the first time I got here earlier than you, C.C. It makes me appreciate what you do all the more.

The theme answers seemed to make sense even without the missing ixs. It was a big d'oh moment when learned what the theme was. Very clever.

I agree with Hahtool on favorite clue.

A tip for you fellow mystery aficionados: I recently came across an author new to me named P. T. Deuterman, many of whose novels have a U.S. Navy theme, which figures as he is an Annapolis graduate, served his twenty, then took up writing. For me, discovering a new, prolific author is like finding a pot of gold. He has been at it for some time, so there are lots to choose from.

We have had some relief here from heat and drought. It is amazing how the dead, dry landscape responded to some rain. Everything is lush and green.

Have a great weekend.

kazie said...

This was a slog for me. I don't enjoy having to google for so many unknowns: TEY, EMORY, EVAN, IDA, AOL. Others arrived via perps, but there were many, like LOMPOC, OTT, WHALED ON (never have heard that), GO FIGURE (not something I ever use), GONZAGA.

ATM was a d'oh because I was confused by the other references to other numbered clues (NCR--still haven't a clue what that is), and I was looking for a refernece to 20A or D.

I don't I.M. and didn't realize what it meant until I googled for AOL. Never figured the theme despite having IXNAY early after I went looking for the "hint" clue to try and get traction.

It may have been clever, but I wasn't clever enough today.

Barry G. said...

@kazie: NCR stands for National Cash Register, and they're a company which (among other things) manufactures Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).

g8rmomx2 said...

Hi c.c. and all:

Well, somehow I got all of the answers correct, but struggled thru quite a few and needed a lot of perp help. Even after I got IXNAY I still didn't get the theme until I came here. I knew it might be something with IX, but couldn't figure it out. Thanks c.c.!

Moon said...

Good Morning!
This seemed like a Friday puzzle..tough for me. But what I didnt like is so many names..PONCE, LOMPOC, GONZAGA, TEY, EMORY, CAISSONS and some of them intersecting each other. Well, I had to go through the keyboard to get the letter :)
The theme was fun but I didnt get it till I came here..I got IXNAY but didnt know if it was I X NAY...I was thinking of how to say No slangily. Thank you CC for your explanations.

PIZZA was an easy fill as I've been craving it for the last few its definitely Pizza and beer night.
Got ATM too immediately but forgot NCR: knew it started with N. And finally I remembered.
Similarly forgot SAHL and MEARA ..I guess my memory is not what it used to be :(

Gotta an early meeting at work.
Have a great Friday, everyone.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

GEE, this was a hard puzzle. Stared at the NE corner for a long time. I had PISTOL in for CAPGUN, and that totally got in the way.

Got stuck on seeing IET as a diphthong, and finally got the D from IDA. D'oh! for me too.

Yes SAVORERS is a clunker, but I'll give Merle a pass, and not even call it a humility mark, since this puzzle is so brilliant. Besides the exquisite theme, look at these symmetries.

I've EATEN UP SESAMES. Indeed, EPICURES are SAVORERS. Do you suppose EROS visited the COPA? Or went ASTRAY in a SPEEDO? Did he ANOINT the APE MAN? Guess where the GAMETE GOES TO. NUKES are ON ICE. A great performers VOICE will fill the ARENA.

I like Barry's and Al,s thoughts on GONZAGA. With that in mind, and in honor of national mole day, ponder this.

In case that mole is too much like the little boy in the blue hat, this is another shot AT IT.

My concert venue tonight is a school auditorium, not an arena. Dress rehearsal went pretty well last night. Carmen Suite is pretty comfortable, and Les Preludes is not to tough, but the Beethoven is a stretch for us. This performance will not be perfect, but there will be some wonderful moments.

JzB the imperfect trombonist

Hahtoolah said...

I am not sure how often IXNAY is actually used. As kids, we found it terribly amusing to speak in IGPAY ATINLAY. we never used the word NIX in everyday language, and certainly not in this "slang."

I knew Uruguary because I am going there in a couple of months.

carol said...

Good morning C.C. and all -

I am in the club with Kazie this morning, I was NOT clever enough for this puzzle. Now my head is sore and my prat is not much better!

So many words I did not know especially on the top half and I certainly missed the theme. I wondered what 'Misterfit' meant. I never do well on play on word puzzles.

34A was a gimme as I am typing on a IBM ThinkPad now.

Back later - time to walk.

Clear Ayes said...

I can heard the groaning of folks who want a puzzle that offers no challenge. They will be pretty unhappy today. The rest of us are smiling.

Actually, I was smirking after the first couple of Down fills. SPEEDO came easily and LOMPOC is the town where one of GAH's brothers lives. EMORY was the first university I thought of, I knew EVAN Hunter and later on, even GONZAGA wasn't a problem.

A couple of more fills were OK and then I ran into MISTER FIT....Huh? What does that mean? I finished all the theme fills and even after IXNAY, I was sitting there scratching my head. All I could think of was "Pig Latin" endings. I kept trying to "translate" the themes, but they made no sense at all. There was no way I was going to understand the theme without C.C.'s help.

So many three letter words and abbreviations. I think I counted 20, is that right? Those little ones are always tough for me.

I really liked the symmetry of EPICURES and SAVORERS. I didn't have a problem with SAVORERS, even if I wouldn't use the word myself. It's a common crossword trick to add an ER to a verb and Abracadabra!...a noun.

At the end, the puzzle was filled in correctly (love those perps), but the theme had to wait until coming here.

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, a tricky puzzle today, I think that we finished ~50% before my wife left and never picked up all of the missing IX's and the theme until I came here.

On another note, apparently there's a kid's game series or something like that called Gundam Seed Astray OP?

kazie said...

Barry G,
Thanks for NCR.

Like Moon, I think there were too many intersecting names and abbreviations today.

Since coming here earlier, I've been catching up on my pile of unanswered emails, because, guess what? My newsletter is at the print shop and I have a breather before the mailing begins next week. Now I think I'll go and make a batch of oatmeal cookies to reward myself. See you later...

Al said...

@Jazz, while I'm not knocking the memories that came up from seeing those pics, that's not the correct kind of mole being honored today.

Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists in North America on October 23, between 6:02 AM and 6:02 PM, making the date 6:02 10/23 in the American style of writing dates. The time and date are derived from the Avogadro constant, which is approximately 6.02×10**23, defining the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in a mole.

Although besides you, me, and Dr. Dad, I'm not sure that's very interesting to very many of the others. On second thought, I think you were right after all ;-)

PJB-Chicago said...

Well, ixnay on the emethay today for PJ, per usual. Not complaining though, because it was a welcome challenge. Glad to see that better solvers felt this wasn't all that easy. I went wildly astray in all four corners, but did know Gonzaga, and no, I won't tell you why! I've revealed enough secrets for a week, as it is! It's pretty much a given that I will get answers having to do with PIZZA, but will miss LOMPOC and TEY every single time. URUGUAY never quite makes the list of countries-to-think-of-while-solving-puzzles.

DIET is also the word for Japan's Parliament. See, I paid attention in 7th grade!

The sunlight in ARLES and the south of France is enough to make you want to become a photographer. I rented a crapola bike in Arles once a zillion years hence, and practically had to rebuild it after mile 3 of my 9 mile ride. Grease and bicycle parts were flying all OVER the place during the rehab proccess, but I finished the trip in one messy piece and took a few good photos along the way. Didn't mention the repair job to the rental place, of course, because I wanted and needed to get my 200 Francs deposit back! Would make that same bikeride today, if I were there. Euros instead of Francs. And a better camera, too! The scent of the place is what I remember best. Rosemary? Lavender? Bugspray? I forget.

C. C., very good write up today. I hope you're feeling better, also.

eddyB said...

Morning all.

Re: Sending of photos. Would I have to go blue again to send them?
I did the puzzle last night while downloading Nikon Suite Software to transfer photos from my camera to the computer.
Maybe being a left coaster helps knowing about Gonzaga. They visit the Bay Area to play basketball.
Have been to Pocatello. Our company had a plant there. Went through Lompoc when I visited Vandenberg AFB to inspect a TITAN III silo.

Liked the puzzle. Clever. Got it when I filled in Don Quote. Agree that the theme answeres could stand alone.

Jill is back. She hand carried a pie through three airports from Lancaster PA. Not sure what it is but it looks interesting.


JimmyB said...

I actually liked this puzzle a lot. As a kid I was amused by Pig Latin so 60A (IXNAY) came easily and I grasped the theme early on. Yet the theme answers were still difficult because I couldn't figure out where the IXs were taken out.

Many of you have already mentioned SAVORERS. I find OCTUPLE a bit odd too, a word only to be found in crosswords.

Thanks to Barry G and Al for my morning chuckles. I will never again think of Gonzaga as merely a Jesuit college with a good basketball team. I like the new imagery a lot better.

Clear Ayes said...

If I'm not confused about one thing today, I'm confused about another. I can't imagine how weird it must seem to C.C. and others for whom english isn't their first language.

Thanks to Al, another "mole" has been described. After seeing Cindy Crawford, I thought of mole sauce and even this little guy. I'm pretty sure which mole the guys will be celebrating, but I'm kind of leaning toward enchiladas with a poblano mole sauce. GAH is golfing today, but maybe he can pick up some take-out at a fantastic little hole-in-the-wall Mexican cafe that is on his way home.

Martin said...

Well, I uploaded my puzzle to my blog and only then noticed that one of the fills appeared twice! Oops! Just add that to the long list of crossword requirements: don't use the same fill twice in the same puzzle!

Oh and I count 18 squares belonging to a single word now. It's a lot easier to spot now that I've blacked out the unused squares.


Liz said...

Fun puzzle today, even though I didn't grok the theme until checking with CC. Thanks! Unfortunately I now have visions of gogo dancers dancing in their cages to Barry Manilow tunes.
As a Catholic school grad,I knew of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a 16th century Jesuit theologian, so the name itself was familiar and the answer a gimme. And now I know that Gonzaga University is a Jesuit college named after him by a fellow Jesuit. This site is a continuing source of knowledge!
Saw a terrific film last night fellow rockers and musicians would enjoy, "It Might Be Loud," with Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White and their love affair with the electric guitar. Great music and footage.
Happy weekend everyone.

Barry G. said...

"It's a common crossword trick to add an ER to a verb and Abracadabra!...a noun."

Which, of course, makes me wonder...

What would you call somebody who errs (e.g., on the side of caution)? An errer? If I ever saw that in a puzzle , methinks I would scream.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone!

Wow, being gone for a few days means a lot of reading upon one's return. Finally got all of the puzzles done and comments read.

GONZAGA was easy, especially since I passed by the campus on Tuesday morning!

SAVORERS gets my award for the most made-up word of the day. Even the spell-check doesn't like it.


Jerome said...

Wonderful, wonderful puzzle, Merle.
SWINGING STIES is fabulous.

Please don't be bothered by folks who refuse to understand that SAVORERS is a real word and that constructors and editors don't make them up. I guess we'll just keep it a secret that if you look up Savorer in any respected dictionary you'll find it.

Mad, sad, and bad anagrams-

You can only swim SO DEEP in a SPEEDO.

Try composing an OCTUPLE COUPLET.

Some EPICURES have a degree from RECIPES U.

Palestinian students at GONZAGA drink GAZA NOG.


There's a STOOGE in GOES TO.

Savoring the moment.

Fred said...

I thought Rich Norris struck a pretty good balance between not-too-easy and not-too-hard with this weeks puzzles. Today's puzzle really made you think, but at the same time, it was solvable. A nice Friday puzzle.

Liz said...

It seems I had a senior moment earlier. The film is "It Might Get Loud." and it does.

treefrog said...

My first post disappeared into lala land. Will try again.
Been busy all week, first chance to check in.
Missed the theme until I read it here.
Knew it was Gonz something. Had to look up the spelling. Missed a few others. Did enjoy the puzzle.
Will go back now and read some posts from earlier in the week.

DoesItinInk said...

This was the most difficult puzzle the LA Times has run for awhile. I had to work hard at it, though I managed to complete it correctly and with no Googling. Very early on I got IXNAY and DON QUOTE, and though I understood the theme, it was still difficult to get the theme answers. The last one to fill in was MISTER FIT. Somehow I wanted the clues to not only apply to the word written in the puzzle but to also somehow refer back to the underlying phrase. 51A “Cocktails at an exotic resort club?” did that with its answere MixED DRINKS, but I really did not see that connection in any of the other clues/answers. Still because it was difficult and I was able to complete it correctly, I liked this puzzle.

@Barry G: When you are on a roll, you are on a roll. I LOLed at your “definition” of GONZAGA. Though I laugh often enough, I seldom laugh out loud. Thanks!

RE: Anonymous’ comment. Here is Google’s translation: “Provides a mix of plastic surgery, cosmetic injections, laser light therapy and other services. The new color in a professional manner to provide the perfect breast surgery services, conducting pre-operative breast augmentation plastic surgeon must assess whether they have qualified technical expertise, breast enlargement before surgery should pay attention to the issues and complete return to clinic follow-up care after breast augmentation so that you trouble-free breast augmentation surgery in order to present the most natural Xiongxing.”

Clear Ayes said...

After reading PJB's "scent memory" of his bicycle trip in Arles, I thought of this lovely little poem.


Oh, the littles that remain!
Scent of mint out in the lane;
Flare of window; sound of bees; --
These, but these.

Three times sitting down to bread;
One time climbing up to bed;
Table-setting o'er and o'er;
Drying herbs for winter's store;
This thing; that thing; -- nothing more.

But just now out in the lane,
Oh, the scent of mint was plain!

- Lizette Woodworth Reese

embien said...

9:39 today. wow, GEE. What a delicious puzzle! I loved, loved, loved the theme (which I got immediately with DON QUOTE), though the theme didn't really help me fill in the puzzle. Still, this was on the easy side for a Friday, but the cluing was sooo clever....

SWINGING STIES has to be one of the most fun and inventive theme entries I've ever seen. I was laughing as soon as I filled it in and I'm still chuckling as I'm writing this.

Since I solve "downs first" I was immediately off on the wrong track by putting a DONUT in my flat box. Guess I've had too many Krispy Kremes. GONZAGA got that sorted out when I came to the across clues. GONZAGA is well-known as a near-perpetual "Cinderella team" in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. Basketball fans will know GONZAGA also as being the alma mater of John Stockton, arguably the best NBA point guard in history.

And, not only is SAVORERS a real word, it's one I've seen in books and I've even used it myself in conversation. SAVORER (for me) has a slightly different connotation from EPICURE or GOURMAND.

MamaRuth said...

I got IXNAY but couldn't figure out how it related to the other answers until I read CC's comments. Needed help with the top center--couldn't think of GOGO or GAMETE; didn't know the connection between OTT and the polo grounds. Also didn't know that WHALED had an H in it. Haven't seen a TOLL GATE in so long I thought that answer might be something starting with EXIT,such as EXIT RAMP. Had heard of GONZAGA but had no idea where it was even though I was in Spokane many years ago in the middle of winter. Chuckled over the ELMER answer and VILLAGE VOICE. Is it still published?

Have been very busy dealing with my husband filing for divorce. He called a lawyer and looked at apartments before he told me. Sorting out 23 years of joint accounts and investments and credit cards is mind boggling. I was very sad and hurt at first but now I am just angry at what a mean jerk he has been. It felt good to have time and psychic energy to do the puzzle.

Jazzbumpa said...

MamaRuth -

Having been there, I have some idea what you are going through. Every marriage is different, and every divorce as well.

This time is difficult and painful, but at the end you will be relieved, re-energized and ready for the next chapter in your life.

I wish you well.

JzB the serious for once trombonist

JimmyB said...

Am I the first to tackle Martin's crossword? Great job, Martin! And a very clever and apropos theme. I have a question about the SE corner but I'll take that to your "comments" section so as not to spoil the fun here for those who might want to give it a try. I look forward to C.C.'s response (who I'm glad to hear is feeling better; sorry for the lateness in the well wishes).

And MamaRuth, sorry to hear of your situation. Hope you can continue to find some SOLACE from the puzzles and the support you are sure to get from this group.

Clear Ayes said...

MamaRuth, So many of us have been through divorce and it is always painful. Hopefully you don't have younger children, as that can add to the problems. But even if you do (my daughter was 12 year old), the problems will finally resolve themselves.

As with all difficulties we may face, if you can treat least once in a a learning experience, I can promise you that it will be OK in the end.

I'm sending good, positive, strong woman vibes your way.

Andrea said...

This theme was too clever for me today, but certainly a nice return to more challenging puzzles. I had to work at it bit by bit, and things slowly came together. Had D_NQUOTE, M_DDRINKS,SWINGING_____, and NONTAPES, and didn't have clue what the theme was or how to fill in the blanks...

I knew Ponce, Emory and Gonzaga, but didn't know Lompoc or Tey. And I think of go-go dancers as from the 60's or early 70's and disco dancers as mid-late 70's. I babysat for a couple that took disco lessons, and I thought they were the COOLEST parents ever... tried to talk my parents into doing it, but my dad would have nothing to do with it. Despite the fact that he had THE PERFECT brown check leisure suit with horribly mismatched brown/orange patterned polyester shirt. (I also tried to talk him into investing in a teen disco; amazingly, he wasn't interested in that either.)

NCR was a gimme for me - my first job out of college was selling NCR POS systems, scanners and cash registers in SE Wisconsin.

A mole has taken up residence in our backyard - we have visible tunnels all over the place, which isn't only unattractive, it makes it tough to walk without tripping. Any suggestions???

Kazie - would love an oatmeal cookie! Wish they could be shared virtually.

ClearAyes - I love that you always have just the right poem for any occasion. :)

Off to the Madison Food and Wine show. Our chef is in the Dueling Chef competition tonight. Will be fun to watch.


Dr.G said...

Couldn't figure this one out on my own. Had to resort to on-line solution.

C.C., are you O(+) or O(-)?

windhover said...

I'd like reinforce what JazzBumpa and ClearAyes said to you. Very few divorces are painless. My own, 18 years ago, was the best thing for me and for my ex-wife, but it still carried a lot of emotional pain and suffering for us both. It took a while, but I am now enjoying what I consider the best years of my life in my sixties. Take a day at a time and rely on your friends. And of course, drain the bastard dry if you can.
I know you will be getting a lot of positive vibes from your friends here.

kazie said...

Mama Ruth,
Sorry to hear what you're going through, but maybe you're better off without him. Just look forward to when you'll be past all the hassles and living your own life for yourself.

windhover said...

Liz, if you're still around today:
your earlier post intrigued me. (Kazie will be on my ass for using a noun as a verb).
I'm wondering just how old an "old rocker" you are? I'm nearly 64, and I love to rock, and don't ever expect to lose it. We (Irish and me) go out regularly to listen to live music, and I often find that I'm the oldest person in the room. I'm not trying to be young and hip (I've BEEN young, but never hip), I just love the music. I like it on the radio or CD, but I love it live with a bass line pounding my chest and throat. A few years ago I sat in the 5th row at a ZZTop show. I would never describe anything as "better than sex", but this was damn close. From the first chord you could feel the music as well as hear it. Anyway, thanks for the info about the film. I'll look for it.

Anonymous said...

Why do all the theme clues have question marks? All of them. Especially on Fridays!! I consider them "STUMP THE CHUMP" questions. They are never like the other clues! Had fun though. Took me all day. But I did it. No computers!!!!...or help!!! Just me. I think I got luck on some.


windhover said...

ClearAyes (I'm on a roll here):
our exchange the other day about JW movies got me to thinking about other favorite movies and scenes.
My favorite Hitchcock movie (we covered this after a puzzle theme a while back) is "North by Northwest". Do you remember the dining car conversation between Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint? It sizzled. You
can probably find it online.
I'm probably done for today, got a busy two days coming up. Two in, two to go.

Hahtoolah said...

Windhover: Since you said you were nearly 64, this one's for you. (Not exactly "rock", but a classic nonetheless.

Jerome said...

Anonymous- Clues with question marks aren't meant to "Stump the Chump". They are there to give the Chump fair warning that the answer is tricky, a play on words, punny, etc.

By the way, Chumperers is not a word. Savor that one.

Jerome said...

Hey Gang- In some ways I'm a computer caveman. Would some kind soul tell me why I always have to enter my password twice.

Clear Ayes said...

Jerome, I don't know if or why it makes any difference, but I never click on the blue "Sign Out" of my Google Account. During the day I minimize the blog and at night I just EXit the site. Even if I turn the computer off, when I come back, my identity dot is still Clear Ayes.

Windhover, It's difficult to fault North By Northwest. The train scene was VERY hot for its time...for any time, for that matter.

embien said...

Jerome: I always have to enter my password twice. I usually reduce the annoyance factor by staying logged in to Google 24x7 (the computer stays on all the time).

PJB-Chicago said...

Jerome: I have to sign in 2x as well every blasted time, even though I'm sure there are no typos. Blogger also allows me to post on my own blog, but not comment there. Maddening! I did upload some photos of badly photographed public art and of my left eye without difficulty.

MamaRuth: WindHover and ClearAyes gave you excellent advice (two extremely wise people), to which I would only add the following: 1) Rent/Netflix/borrow from the library as many funny movies as you can. Stay away from romantic comedies and Sandra Bullock movies, of course. [That's true, regardless, in my book]. An hour or so focused on someone else's foibles does help, and laughter is good for the mind, body, and soul. 2) Volunteer. Even an hour a month helping a Cambodian grandmother learn a few words of English will help keep some perspective on your situation. It works, really. 3) Am not sure why this helps, but looking after a houseplant (in my case, a small jade tree) cheered me up in a similar circumstance. May work for you, too. 4) Doing the puzzles and playing an occasional game of darts proved helpful as well. With a dartbord, as target, not the ex. :- }

I had to bag out from being onstage with the "bigger kids" but sent a very competent replacement. --Talk about regrets--It was an honor to be asked, but a long train trip wasn't in the cards this weekend. Soup's on the agenda now!

Lemonade714 said...


I will now sleep with a delicious dream of using my ex-wife as a dart board, with abull's eye right on her...

good night all

Anonymous said...

30. Notable 1969 bride: ONO

The Ballad of John & Yoko

John & Yoko

It's a shame that in 1981 Mark David Chatman shot John Lennon. After getting his autograph on a Beatles album earlier in the day.

PJB-Chicago said...

LemonAde714.: Glad you enjoyed the image. At least three quarters of the "funny" things I say are completely unintentional. I've learned to write those lines down, and to recycle them into items to try out on stage, where they often play well, but I still have no clue why one line is laughable and another gets blank stares.
I do know that I have sometimes wished I could plant a dart in the center of the mug of an ex, but, nope, I never did anything like that. I did rip up a few photos and plant one or two weeds in their yards. That's the full extent of my mischief. Believe that, and I can tell you another.

WM, you are missed.

JazzB, taking on Beethoven is tough, but I have full confidence that you & band-members will do him proud. He seems to have known that humans aim high and sometimes fall short, but even without hearing, he could string together chords that make the bones shake and the heart melt. And I wish I had any talent, whatsoever, at music. I can do polyphonic drone singing but that's it.